Updated: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 @ 1:57pm

Controversial 'anti-rape' poster axed by Manchester uni over 'victim blaming'

Controversial 'anti-rape' poster axed by Manchester uni over 'victim blaming'

| By Jordan Bluer

A controversial so-called ‘anti-rape’ poster that sparked outrage among Manchester students has been taken down by Manchester University.

The picture in the Kilburn building of the university showed a woman in a crop top and thong flaunting a phone next to the words; ‘just stop showing off’ and ‘Keep your assets out of sight’.

Students accuse GMP and the University of promoting ‘victim-blaming’ in sexual assaults and instigating a campaign of bad taste in the wake of a rape in Fallowfield last month.

However GMP hit back at the claims, stating that the poster was in fact intended to raise awareness around thefts and muggings and not rape at all.

A Manchester University spokesman also told MM that the poster, which had been on the walls for seven years, was put up without their consent, and was not widely circulated. In fact, he claimed there was only ever one poster put up.

A spokesman told MM: “The poster formed part of an anti-crime initiative by Greater Manchester Police in 2007 and was placed on a wall in the Kilburn Building without the knowledge or consent of the University.

“The poster was not displayed on campus at the time of the initial campaign and this single poster, put up by persons unknown, has now been removed."

Echoing the university’s statement Greater Manchester Police said: “This poster was produced in 2007 by GMP as part of a campaign to tackle robberies being committed against students. It has nothing to do with a publicity campaign on rape.

“The strapline ‘Keep your assets out of sight’ was simply a reminder to students not to flaunt valuables such as mobile phones, iPods and cameras.

“The poster is no longer printed or distributed, and it is seven years since they were last sent out.”

The poster was framed for seven years in a computer cluster on the ground floor of the building, but only recently came to light.

It’s easily confusing purpose and leading slogans extremely upset many Manchester students who chose to question the GMPs victim blaming advice, rather than their stance on robbery. 

Speaking to the Manchester Tab, third year linguistics student Lydia Morton said: “Stop telling girls to keep their ‘assets’ out of sight, and let’s reinforce the basic fact that no actually means no.”

Current GMP anti-rape posters carry a much clearer message, avoiding the questionable slogans and pictures to present a tougher more modern stance on sexual assaults.

Main image courtesy of Mikey, inset courtesy of GMP, with thanks.